Highest Points in Pennsylvania and Maryland

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Mount Davis - The Highest Point in Pennsylvania (3,213 Feet Above Sea Level)

Mount Davis – The Highest Point in Pennsylvania (3,213 Feet Above Sea Level)

If you like mountain views and challenges that bring you to new heights then you need to check this out!  There’s something fulfilling about going to the highest point in your home state, or some other state, and looking over the surrounding area.  Now, this isn’t my first highpoint, but Ohio’s is nothing compared to these two.

Pennsylvania’s highpoint (Mount Davis) has a really nice view, but you have to climb up on top of a 40 foot tower to really appreciate it; there are too many trees to really see the view from the ground.  The tower might toy with your fear of heights, if you have one, but the tower is very sturdy… there’s nothing to worry about!  You can drive right up to the highpoint if you want or take a short (.8 mile), flat hike to the tower, the official highpoint marker and all the plaques there.  And once you make your way up the tower steps, you’ll soon realize it was very worth the climb.

Speaking of climbs, there is actually an uphill hike you’ll have to take to get to the top of Backbone Mountain (Maryland’s highpoint AKA Hoye Crest).  It’s only a mile-long hike, but you’ll have a 700 foot increase in elevation, during that hike.  And hey, that’s not much to ask, considering you’ll end up 3,360 feet above sea level!  And I liked how this highpoint had a little log book you could sign, and a certificate to prove you had been there; Pennsylvania was slacking on that one!  The view’s not too shabby up there either, and you don’t need a tower to see it.

But instead of reading this boring text and trying to picture it in your mind, watch this video so you can see all of what I’m talking about:


If you’d like to check out Mount Davis in Fort Hill, Pennsylvania then CLICK HERE for a map to where I parked.  The green arrow points to where you’ll pull in and park; there are bathrooms and picnic tables here.  To head toward the High Point Trail, just head to the right, to the far end of the open field.  There’s a map that will show you where to go, in fact, if you switch to the satellite view on Google Maps, you can see the trail I’m talking about, Southwest of where you pull in.

If you’d like to check out the Hoye Crest in Oakland, Maryland then CLICK HERE for a map to where I parked.  Yes, you will be parking in West Virginia, and you’ll want to look for a spot on the side of the road that you can pull off on and park.  The trail starts on a turn in a road, and there is a green sign that points toward the trail, telling you it’s the highpoint trail, but if you’re coming from the north, and you pass that sign, then you’ve already passed where you want to park.  I parked right at the trailhead, there’s enough room for maybe two cars.  I wouldn’t recommend driving up the trail, as it’s pretty rough.


If you take the High Point Trail, to Mount Davis, then be sure to stay on it! Don’t be like me and get distracted, just before you get to the highpoint, by a trail called the Mount Davis Trail.  Yes, that’s what the highpoint is named, but this trail goes off on it’s own and is pretty dang rocky and narrow.  You don’t really need hiking boots for this one, even though there is one muddy patch, but other than that it’s smooth sailing and it’s free to enter the park.

The trail up Backbone Mountain, to Hoye Crest, is clearly marked by orange blazes, so you shouldn’t get lost or distracted.  You’ll probably want to wear hiking boots, bring water and put on the bug spray for this trail though.  There are a few muddy spots, and a rocky section, so the boots will come in handy.  And with moisture comes gnats and other bugs, so be aware that they will be in your face during some sections.  In fact, I would be walking along and hear hundreds of crickets jumping all around; that was actually kind of cool.  But, since it will take longer to get to the top, you’ll probably want some water along to way.  In fact, bring a lunch with you; there’s a picnic table right at the highpoint, so you can eat and enjoy the view.  Oh, and it’s free to hike to the top of this one as well!


If that wasn’t enough for you then here’s the official site for the Maryland highpoint: http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=154

And if you’d like to see an instrumental version of the video, without me butting in all the time, then here you go:

And here are some more pictures:


Category : Getting High on Mountains, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Views

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